Hort Innovation welcomes two new directors | So Good News


Hort Innovation has welcomed two new board directors as the grower-owned Rural Research and Development Corporation strengthens its focus on grower priorities.

At the organization’s annual general meeting, voting members elected Elke Cleverdon and Stephen McCutcheon and re-elected Ian Vidra to the Hort Innovation Board. Julie Bird was later re-elected as the new board chair, while Paul Harker will continue as vice chair.

Ms Bird joins new board directors at Hort Innovation as the organization aligns itself with the priorities of the horticulture industry.

“The industry’s priorities are our priorities, and we made changes last year to bring them closer to growers. The new directors on our board have extensive experience in agribusinesses, which will be invaluable as we execute our renewed strategic plan from 2023,” said Ms Bird.

Stephen McCutcheon, Elke Cleverdon and Ian Vidra

The new appointees have experience in agribusiness, finance, consumer goods, trading and international markets and regulatory roles. Newly appointed directors:

  • Elke Cleverdon is a non-executive director with experience in the agribusiness and consumer banking sectors. She was recently selected for the National Farmers Federation’s Diversity Leadership Program, one of 12 women nationally.
  • Stephen (Steve) McCutcheon has over 40 years of experience working with the agriculture and food sectors in both the private and public sectors. During his career he has held a number of board positions in Australian government agencies including the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Administration, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and is the current Chair of Plant Health Australia.

Ms Bird said the board was looking forward to working with the new directors, Hort Innovation teams and growers.

“We welcome our new directors and I know they will bring determination and energy to the role, along with a desire to make a lasting impact through the work of Hort Innovation,” Ms Bird said.

Ms Bird also acknowledged the work of Hort Innovation Board Directors Professor Robert Clarke and Anthony Kelly and thanked them for their contribution to Hort Innovation and the wider Australian horticulture industry.

For more information:
Hort innovation
[email protected]


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